Home / India News / ‘I understand the DNA of my country’: Rahul Gandhi on Covid-19 dialogue with Nicholas Burns
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi once again took on the government for its Covid-19 response, accusing it of taking decisions unilaterally. ‘Understand my country’s DNA’: Rahul Gandhi remains hopeful about recovery
“We have a government which takes decisions unilaterally. It decided to impose a hard lockdown and the result was for everyone to see. You had thousands of migrant workers walking thousands of kilometres to their hometowns. This type of episodic leadership is very very disruptive,” Gandhi said during a conversation with former US diplomat Nicholas Burns on Friday.
“We are fighting it. And I am hopeful because I understand the DNA of my country. And I know that for thousands of years, the DNA of my country has been of one type, it can’t be changed. We are going through a bad patch. Covid-19 is a horrible time, but I see new ideas emerging after the crisis. I already see people cooerating much more than they were before. They now realise that there are advantages of being unified,” the former Congress president said.
He asked Burns how will the Covid-19 crisis shift the balance of power in the world.
“We are going to set aside global political rivalries on issues like climate change becuase issues like this are existential for everyone. They unite every person in the world. We need to have a future of global politics. Of cours,e we are going to compete - China and the United States, India and the United States - but we need to preserv space and we can work together on behalf of individual people,” said Burns.
“Give people the support, that we as government can help them. That’s the challenge with Covid-19. This is the first pandemic in 17 years. We will have mroe in coming years. Can we respond as gobal community? Can we work together? I think that’s the biggest challenges I see coming out of Covid-19,” he added.
“China is making strides, there is no doubt about that, but what it lacks is the sophistication and openness of a democratic country like India or the United States. China is a fearful leadership. Fearful men, trying to preserve their own power, increasing the grip that they have on thier citizens. See what is happening in Xinjiang and Hong Kong. So I am hopeful of the future of India and the United States,” said Burns.
Gandhi held the conversation with Burns on how coronavirus crisis was reshaping the world order. The interaction between also covered a wide range of issues, including racism in the United States.
Burns is currently the Professor of Practice of Diplomacy and International Politics at Harvard’s John F Kennedy School of Government. At the Harvard Kennedy School, Burns is the Director of The Future of Diplomacy Project and Faculty Chair for the programs on the Middle East, India and South Asia.
During his career in the State Department, he was United States Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs within the United States Department of State. He was also the chief negotiator of the India-US nuclear deal.